China's enormous market may be the object of desire for animation filmmakers everywhere, but it is also fraught with unique challenges.
In this essential session for both China insiders and hopefuls, Oriental DreamWorks and a panel of Chinese and international artists and producers, (all of whom are creating work in China), will provide a local insight, outline the difficulties and offer strategies for success in the Middle Kingdom.
The expanding audiences, mushrooming cinema screens, IP licensing opportunities and distribution platforms have seen scores of hopeful studios enter the highly competitive and wide-open original IP playing field in recent years.
Perhaps their biggest challenge has been finding stories that will appeal to a sufficient proportion of the huge, diverse and amorphous Chinese audience. The panel will discuss the concerns, passions and peculiarities of the modern Chinese consumer, the process of finding stories to which it can relate, and the potential for those stories to transcend borders.
The discussion will turn to homegrown storytelling talent, and the implications of the widely adopted "story in Hollywood, animation in China" production paradigm for China's own creative development. Meanwhile, it is easy amid the big money and bright lights of features to forget independent creators, yet it is here that emerging Chinese artists are telling some of the most compelling stories. The panel will look at the ideas emanating from this small but passionate community and consider their relevance in mainstream entertainment.
The next years will see more prospectors enter the race, including international deals enabled by new co-production treaties and eager investors. The panel will offer advice on international collaboration, best practices and how to avoid getting trampled in the gold rush. To conclude, the panel will look ahead to the future of domestic content creation and whether a distinctly Chinese identity will begin to emerge.